We all have those things that we say we need to do to improve our health, but we never quite get around to them. My big re-occurring moans are “I should drink more water” and “I need to get a better night’s sleep”.
I’ve never been great at sleep, I remember being a teenager and regularly cooking in the middle of the night, my mum would wake up to a sink full of dirty pans and food in the freezer because I just couldn’t sleep. Before having my son I used to top up a bad night’s sleep with a post work nap or a Sunday afternoon nap but the days of a cheeky nap are well and truly over for me (except during Rugby six nations, I get one or 2 naps in her while the husband and the kid are watching, woop, woop, I guess I have some naps coming to me)
Basically, poor sleep is something that I am bored of complaining about, I’ve consulted Dr Google (fear not NHS was present lol but I did also visit some fluff sights on my search) and some of the negative effects of poor sleep are:
If you know of any more negative effects please let me know. As I plan to monitor any improvements. Lots of lovely people have given me helpful suggestions. I plan to try one each week to see if they work for me. Suggestions Received are below – I’ll let you know which one I try first xxxx
I have seen loads of amazing recipes for veganuary. However Veganuary doesn't have to mean complicated (unless you enjoy that sort of thing of course) So here is a quick comforting and high protein recipe you can throw together in a short space of time.
2 Linda McCartney Sausages
1 Wholemeal English Muffin
A few leaves of spinach
1 TBSP of preferred sauce (mustard, ketchup etc)
1) Cook Sausages as per packet instructions
2) Slice and toast muffin
3) Slice sausage and serve in muffin topped with spinach and sauce.
Wham Bama and thank you Mama for 347 Kcals and 24g of protein, Nom
So the most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us. Well, to be honest for me, my younger sister, my 6 year old and my Christmas mad auntie, this moment begins when the 'Christmas 24' channel arrives.
So I am offering up a challenge, you've all heard of drinking games, this is a healthy spin on that.
So the rules are anytime you see any of the things listed below - follow the action....
The Tough Like Mama 'Christmas 24' or 'any damn Christmas film you want to watch' workout game :
When looking at setting your fitness goals you may often hear the term “Find your why” and I agree, finding out why you want something will absolutely help you stay focused on your path to achieve your goals, but are you also asking yourself if your goals are actually yours?
You might be thinking “of course they are my bloody goals, who else's would they be?” take a step back and consider the following using the example of “I want to be a size 8”
When did this become your goal?
I really want you to think about this, when you first wanted this, start thinking of a timeline back to when this desire was initially triggered, this may be way, way back to early teens. In our example of wanting to be a size 8, they could question if they personally thought another person of that size looked fabulous (this would be your goal) or because it been pinned up in the media as a perfect size or is it because they have seen larger people, or themselves criticised for their size (this would make it someone else’s goal)
What moments in your day make you think about your goal? Is it sparked by negative feelings, not living up to others expectations, not being attractive to others? Or is it sparked by excitement of what you and your body are capable.
Write it all down in a notebook or on a scrap bit of paper so you can review your thoughts, see if you’ve been excessively influenced by external factors, family, friends, the media etc. etc.
I’ll tell you a bit about my own realisation when looking at my own goals. When I was very small I watched terminator 2 and instantly fell in love with Sarah Connor. I thought she was the coolest, the way she looked how strong she was, the way she trusted herself when people were telling her she was wrong. I wanted to be like her, because she was a badass and with my dad being a bodybuilder at the time, people around me thought this was awesome, cute and adorable and it was just wonderful.
That’s until I started nearing my teens. Being still totally obsessed with Sarah Connor. I’d excitedly say “I want to look like Sarah Connor”. Now, if I had a pound for every time that was met with “But boys/men don’t like muscles” I’d be a motherfricking millionaire.
That was the start of hearing crap like that. I’d hear women reassuring each other with “men like curves”. Adults around me spoke with passion about what was and wasn’t acceptable about what people’s bodies, in particular women’s bodies should look like. Fat = lazy, skinny = sick looking. It was all very confusing as a teenager.
However, there was always one constant “boys/men like……..” or “boys/men don’t like” and that seemed to dig its way right into my subconscious. It didn’t matter what I thought about my own body as much as what members of the opposite sex thought of my body.
Seeing the teeny women paraded in magazines with the underlying message of ‘Women this is what you should look like’ it got to me and I thought I needed to get as small as I could and doing lots of swimming, weights and Mr Motivator while consuming a diet of mainly apples and low kcal baked crisps I did get very teeny. I wasn’t happy, not in the slightest. I still hated my body.
Then I spent the duration of my teen and adult years going through a cycle of skinny, fat, toned, muscular over and over again, just hoping to suddenly feel happy with my body. But nope, surprise surprise, it didn’t fucking happen.
It’s taken until the ripe old age of 34 to realise the reason I wasn’t happy is because I was chasing other people’s goals and not my own. Each time I thought about what I wanted for my own body I was thinking about all the things I heard from other people and they will always be different things dependent on who you listen to, what channel you watch, what music you listen to, who’s IG you follow. Be careful and make sure you are living for you and not other people xxx
I promote body positivity, but for some of us, myself included, embracing your body doesn't come naturally, it can be a mammoth task for some, so instead catch yourself when you criticise your body. Try to talk to yourself as if you were talking to a loved friend . Find something you like about yourself to focus on! (For me it's my calf , we'll both of them, which is funny because I once hated them)
And if you do have goals for changing your body, don't over think it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself.
For example, if fat loss is your goal, you don't have to weigh yourself if it makes you feel like shit. For some people weighing is counterproductive. If you want to measure progress still, either do it via pictures and if that's too scary, take string measurements, no numbers, just take a piece of string, wrap it around your waist, cut it to circumference and stick it on the wall.
Most of all be kind to yourself x
Good luck to all the school kids and Parents if it's your first day back to school today. My thoughts have never been so audible.
I hated my body in every single one of these pictures, the one’s where I am a kid, the ones where I am clearly underweight (I felt my biggest here surprisingly) and the one where I doubled my weight in the space of a 9 month pregnancy. Personally, I always listened to comments people make about their own and other people’s bodies as a sort of guide to how I am supposed to look, so health body image was always going to be out of reach for me with this way of thinking.
I’m not alone in this. I train women of different sizes who all say negative things about themselves.
I keep seeing a number of things regarding women’s bodies on social media. Most of it critical. I keep seeing women compare themselves to famous women saying “Please tell me I don’t look this bad” and women reaching out and trying to tell people they don’t feel good about themselves met with “well you obviously just want compliments or you wouldn’t post pictures of yourself in skimpy clothing.
We are too fat. We are too thin. We’re trying to hard or not trying hard enough. We’re too fake, we could do with some make up, we’re too ‘up ourselves’ if we have the audacity to feel good about ourselves and post a selfie……
Seriously, can we just stop? It’s horrible when men do this to women, it’s fucking heart breaking when I see women do this to other women, because we all know how it feels don’t we? I guarantee most of the women out there have had days where they feel just awful about how they look. It’s hard not to in a society where so much emphasis is put on how attractive a woman looks. Just look at female politicians – no matter how hideous their policies or their values they are attacked on their looks first.
Anyway, rant over , I’m getting off my soapbox, you’re all fucking fabulous… be good to one another xxxx
Both of the 12 week Plan options Include:
* Health/Fitness assessment
* Food diary analysis
* Email/Text Support
* Weekly Personalised Workouts
* Weekly reviews (Discussing progress etc, this will be done via email, telephone or text if option 1 is selected)
Option 1: All of the above plus a 1hr 1-2-1 session every fortnight (Normal cost = £285.00*)
Payment upfront and in full = £197.10 (Working out as £16.43 a week)
Weekly pay = £21.38 (working out as a total of £256.50)
Option 2: All of the above plus a 1hr 1-2-1 session weekly (Normal cost = £435.00*)
Payment upfront and in full = £305.10 (Working out as £25.43 a week)
Weekly pay = £32.63 (working out as a total of £391.50)
So after a lovely night out with the husband at Nashville’s farewell tour (For which I decorated my own cowgal boots, they had my name on and everything), I end up injuring my lower back, getting stuck in a very awkward position and having the on call Dr come out to see me – I’d been crying in agony and by this point, unknown to me, my face was covered in mascara streaks – YAY - #Glamlife.
So now plopped back into my normal life my Doctor tells me I can still exercise, yaaaay, although I kind of just want to rest because I am crying on the inside, but staying active is good for your back apparently, but not if it causes pain, but everything seems to cause pain – so I’ve had to find some work arounds.
Obviously it goes without saying, everyone is different, check with your GP first if you are OK to do these, also general NHS back pain advice https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/ and exercises to ease lower back pain https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/low-back-pain-exercises.aspx
So in this post I'll just go into some basic do's and do nots, I may or may not go into weights in a further post, because well it's a bit more tricky and I don't want you to have a back twinge while you've got an ACME style weight above your head
Some Do's and Don'ts:
Don't: Standing Toe Touch Hamstring Stretch
Standing toe touches can put stress on your lumbar spine and can overstretch lower back muscles and hamstrings
Do this instead: Supported hamstring stretch
Lay on your back and with one knee bent.
Loop a band or towel under the ball of your foot.
Straighten leg and stretch against the support.
You will feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
Repeat on the other leg
Don't: Standing Quad Stretch
Do this instead: Side Lying Quad Stretch
Lay on your side, HIPS stacked, and spine in neutral alignment, resting your head on your hand.
Bend your top knee
Use your hand to pull your foot towards your bum and hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat on the other side.
Don't: Leg Raises
Although leg raises are used to strengthen core muscles, they can put a huge amount of stress on your spine.
Do this instead: Reverse Curl ups
Lay on your back, arms extended, palms down.
Bend and raise both knees at a 90-degree angle
Bring both knees to the chest while lifting your hips off the floor
Don't: Sit-Ups/Full crunch
While sit-ups will strengthen your core or abdominal muscles, this exercise can put a lot of pressure on your spine.
Do this instead: Planks or Partial Crunches
Perform a plank on your forearms, dependent on your core strength, you can do this on your knees or on your toes.
Hold for 15 - 30 seconds.
Partial crunches can strengthen your core. (Ensure that your feet and lower back should remain in contact with the mat for the duration of this exercise)
Lay with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Cross your arms over your chest.
Use the muscles in your stomach to raise your shoulders off the floor.
Lower back down.
Do this instead: Wall Sit
Stand around 10 inches from the wall
Lean back until your back is flat against the wall.
Pressing your lower back into the wall slide slowly down until your knees are slightly bent.
Hold for 5 seconds.
Slide back up the wall.
Do this instead: Walk
Jogging or running are going to impact your lower back, walking and keeping active can help reduce back pain.
Don't: High Intensity Cardio Workouts
Do this instead: Swim
Swimming is low-impact, the water supports your body and it doesn’t involve much twisting of your back.
Backstroke and breaststroke require the least rotation of your spine.
So that's it for now. I'll keep you updated with my work around's as I navigate exercising with me old crone lady back.
This is a great app to motivate you to walk more, it’s basically a step counter that converts your steps into ‘Sweatcoins’ and you can use them to buy or purchase discounts on fitness and nutrition related products. I’ve managed to get some lovely things on here, such as a simply cook pack, magazine subscriptions and healthy snack bars for my little one. It just runs in the background of your phone and your ‘sweatcoins’ build up fairly quickly. You can also pool your ‘sweatcoins’ with family and friends to use them to purchase expensive items such as holidays.
3) Zombies, Run!
Look, I know not everyone is a Zombie fan. But I literally hate running, I’m more of a weight lifting type of gal, but this app makes me want to run!!!
It’s more of a game than a fitness app, you run to a storyline, you can use your own playlist (I purposely created a ‘metal’ playlist as I felt this to be more Zombie friendly - Lol.
Each time you run you complete a mission and get to be the hero, collecting supplies as you go to grow your base.
The only downside is that I got very attached to some characters and ermmm well it’s a zombie game isn’t it, don’t mean to do spoilers, but there obviously will be casualties.
4) The Walk
From the same creators as Zombie, Run! So I was obviously going to like this one. For days when a run seems too much or you’d just rather a long walk instead.
If Zombies aren’t your thing you may also prefer this one.
Basically you’re given a package that could save the world and end up walking the equivalent of the length of the UK. It’s really fun if you like immersing yourself in a story and you want to make walking a bit more fun.
I love this app, it allows you to go to different gyms without being tied into a monthly membership. It’s also great if you are traveling.
Myself and my husband use it to have a cheap spa day (lots of gyms include gym, swim, sauna, steam rooms and even spa pools) Nuffield Health and Village are very lovely fitness centres to visit.
On top of that it will randomly send you discounts and you get cash to leave reviews for the gyms you have visited.
50% off your first purchase with my referral link
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).